Waimea High School opened its doors as an elementary school in 1881 on the western side of the Island of Kauai. It expanded to grades K-12 in 1935 and in 1977, assumed its present structure as a comprehensive four-year high school servicing grades 9-12. Spread out over several acres with 16 buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the campus is the center of the Waimea community. The West Kauai community is rural with much of the economy centering on agriculture, tourism, the military and scientific/military research.
The economic landscape of Waimea school community and the greater Westside of Kauai continues to be bleak, going back to the late 1990s with the closing of three Westside sugar plantations and continuing this year with large staff reductions at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kauai Veteran’s Memorial Hospital (KVMH) and seed companies Syngenta and Pioneer. Over time, families have moved away from the Westside of Kauai to seek better opportunities. The percentage of WHS students qualifying for a free or reduced lunch has risen significantly over the past few years – from 39% in SY 2009-2010 to the current 50.35%.
In January 2014 Waimea High School implemented a 5 year plan entitled STREAM (STEM+”R” for resources and “A” for arts and humanities). We realigned all of our resources to transform Waimea High School into a Career and Technical Education (CTE) driven school. STREAM is designed to create college and career opportunities for each of our students, regardless of their ability and interests. As a result, we have developed partnerships with our local community and business associates to provide Waimea High students with internship opportunities where they can experience firsthand industry standards and the value of pursuing post-secondary education.